Zoo Nights & Lights – December 1, 2 & 3, 2017 | Gladys Porter Zoo

Zoo Nights & Lights – December 1, 2 & 3, 2017


Zoo Nights & Lights is a holiday tradition to behold. Everyone will enjoy live performances from local bands and choirs while taking in the dazzling light displays. Browse for holiday gifts at our arts and crafts show. And, kids can decorate a gingerbread cookie and make a craft.

The Gladys Porter Zoo invites Rio Grande Valley residents and visitors to its annual holiday celebration on December 1 st , 2 nd and 3 rd from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.Tickets are now on sale for $2.50 or donate a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots and get in free. Zoo members get in free with their membership cards. Tickets are available now for pre-sale online,  Zoo office or can be purchased at the gate on each night of the event.

Zoo Nights & Lights offers the holiday spirit for all families and a romantic setting for a date night. It is an event designed to give people a break from the stress of the holiday season.There is a lot to do in the Mitte Cultural District, so after you visit the Zoo make plans to walk over to the Dean Porter Park to see the free Holiday Village display.  These quaint cottages, which are dressed up for the holidays, are truly a unique sight.


Come out to enjoy live performances from local bands and choirs while taking in the ambiance.

Ensamble La Misión will perform every evening during Zoo Nights & Lights.Music is a family matter for Ensamble La Misión. In this quintet, a mother andson harmonize on vocals and everyone, including father, mother and three sons, play an eclectic mix of ethnic instruments. They sing in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. Ensamble La Misión has a wide musical repertoire, and their sound will create the holiday ambiance visitors will appreciate.


  • 6:00 p.m.
    TBA, Amphitheater
    TBA, Pizzooria Stage
    TBA, Small World StagePorter High School Woodwind Ensembles
  • 6:30 p.m.
    TBA, Pizzooria Stage
    TBA, Small World Stage
  • 7:00 p.m.
    TBA, Amphitheater
    TBA, Pizzooria Stag
    TBA, Small World Stag
  • 7:30 p.m.
    TBA, Ampitheater


  • 6:00 p.m.
    TBA, Amphitheater
    TBA, Small World Stage
  • 6:30 p.m.
    TBA, Amphitheater
  • 7:30 p.m.
    TBA, Pizzooria Stage


  • 6:00 p.m.
    TBA, Amphitheate
  • 6:30 p.m.
    Girl Scout Troop 457, Small World Stage


Kids will have a great time at the events we have planned this year. All activities are included in the admission fee to Zoo Nights and Lights unless specified.

• Decorate a gingerbread cookie
• Make a holiday craft
• Enter our free raffle for Giant Holiday Stocking filled with toys
• Photo with Santa Claus – $5.00 per photo


How the Grinch Stole Christmas! By Dr. Seuss will be read every evening during Zoo Nights & Lights at Pizzooria.

Everyone can shop at our arts and crafts show for holiday gifts. Also, it wouldn’t be Zoo Nights & Lights if there wasn’t going to be plenty of hot chocolate and churros! Check out our list of vendors below.  * A vendor list is being compiled keep checking our site. We will post the final list soon.


Vendor Name Type of Art, Craft or Tasty Treat
Brident Dental Candies, marketing advertisement
Celia Reyna Christmas arts and crafts
Connie Rodriguez Angels, christmas décor, novelty items
Dora Perez Bows, cristmas decorations
Edward Gachiri Jewerly and crafts
Francisco Torres Swirl potato
Gladys Porter Zoo Animal Enrichment Toys, christmas items, sand art
Glass Slipper Characters Co. Princess characters, frozen characters
Helen Garza wooden crosses, art
Isabel Grimaldo Angel décor
Isabel Vo dream catchers, animal print hats, leather bracelets, light up toys
Jessica NeSmith Acrylic tumblers, seat belt pillows, personalized ornaments, finger puppets, etc.
Knotty Couture Jewerly, hats, bookmarks, arts and crafts, stuffed animals.
Laura Villareal Christmas decorations, arts, crafts, ornaments.
Leticia Elizondo Christmas decorations, handmade decorations.
Linda Campos Military (flags, caps, pins), t-shirts, collectable items of famous celebrities, jewerly, dolls, stuffed animals, craft items, purses
Manuel A. Parra Handcrafted jewerly, decorative crosses, western purses, hats, sports mugs, keychains, pins, etc.
Marco Bartolomeo Sweet kettle corn
Metro PCS Advertisement
Monica Licona Jewerly
Nelly Sanchez Toys, crafts
Oralia Arizpe Tupperware, jewerly, purses
Patricia Lozano Wood signs, christmas crafts, jewerly, religious items
Proyecto Juan Diego Christmas decorations
Ramiro Moya Jewerly, sunglasses, t-shirts, etc.
Robert Mendoza Handmade arts and crafts
Teresa Nuñez Arts & crafts, scentsy products
VZS Concessions Hot chocolate, churros & more..


Over the years, the Zoo maintenance staff has created a dazzling collection of approximately 150 lighted animal and holiday fixtures. This year, our crew has been hard at work creating illuminated butterfly fixtures. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for some of the Zoo’s most infamous lighted attractions, including the animated escaping gorillas as they appear to walk the roof tops and the chimpanzees climbing the palm trees. Staff also places 800 luminaria bags along the walkways.

Also on display, we have a giraffe themed tree in our Christmas tree forest. The tree features ornaments inspired by our giraffe herd. We still have our zoo animal inspired trees on display. Each tree is adorned with some handcrafted ornaments inspired by peacocks, marine creatures, and reptiles.


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